Kaji wrote:With seeing Amitabha (or any Buddha or Bodhisattva for that matter), I would suggest one to be very careful, echoing what ksitiputra posted. Personally I would ignore all signs brought in front of my senses and keep nianfo. I would not follow anyone to anywhere.
yes, that's during our daily nianfo practice and a norm in meditation and ch'an. we ignore all signs.
though in PL and particularly in deathbed, it's another theory as mentioned in the thread:-
No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?viewtopic.php?f=60&t=9634
there's such possibility that mara may transform fake buddhas, Bodhisattva, if a person practice not in line with their "Root" Buddha or practice too many buddhas making them confused. but mara cannot transform themselve as Amitabha if it's the person's fixed rooted Buddha(Amitabha) they took refuge from their daily practice. like for example if a person has being reciting Amitabha all the while, and he/she see other buddhas, then, it's fake. but it's very rare if he/she practice wholeheartedly in Amitabha. mara would not have manifested to confuse, as they are not confused in his/her practice in the first place. there is also saying that they cannot transform the Trinities (1) Amitabha Buddha (2) Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva (3) Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva all at once.
practically, we have been seeing and practicing deathbed supportive recitation 临终助念 to dying people, and we do encourage the dying to let go of their attachment and if they see the Trinities (1) Amitabha Buddha (2) Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva (3) Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, they can follow them to pureland. Escorting is mentioning in Amitabha Sutra and Contemplation Sutra.
i follow old Master Chin Kung, saying another form of differentiating real and fake Amitabha/Buddha is their light. real Amitabha will have a soothing comfortable light while a fake one will have a glaring uncomfortable glare.